I heard a mom say yesterday that with her kids home for Veteran’s Day, her day was blown. I just don’t get that. I am so glad to have the kids home for a day, especially as the weather looks fine. Jackie is still down and out (this is one nasty bug) but Karen and I are planning to get up and out early. I found another apple tree that is loaded with bright red fruit and we are going picking. The cider press is set up and ready for action. I am figuring on another 20 1/2 gallons of cider before the end of the season. Phoebe loves hanging out with her dad and helping with his chores. We will work together today and get the cider done. The girls can feed the hopper, run the press, wash apples, ferry jars from the house. They will not be as efficient as we are but they will also never learn if we don’t let them help. Later, I have a fun job for them. My son came by last night with a pick up truck filled with bagged leaves. I need Phoebe to jump on the bags to crush the leaves so they can go in the garden. Now that’s a job a hyper 7-year-old can get into. I want to make pizza for dinner. Karen can do most of the work on this as long as I am around to give her some direction. I had planned to make the cheese but I am out of milk. I will send Karen down to our neighbors to see if they would like to swap honey for some goat milk. Then we will put together a batch of mozzarella. This is another place that the girls can be helpful as once I get started, the cheese needs watching. They can fetch and carry and answer the phone. I will ask Karen to help Phoebe with her homework too. Karen likes to do that and she is really patient. I am running into one problem. While Phoebe was ill, she discovered the joys of television and now she wants to watch during the day. I don’t think so. TV is a habit and not a good one. A day or two of listening to her whine for Backyardigans will pay off when she breaks it.

When my son stopped by with the leaves last evening he brought his best childhood friend with him. It was so much fun to watch them together. Nathan got out a quart of hot cauliflower and red cabbage pickle. They ate nearly the whole jar, then started on the gingersnaps. They finished off by sampling my pear brandy. Nothing is better than watching someone enjoy my food.

Last night was my permaculture group. It is such a good time. We sampled some hard cider and laughed and talked about our gardening mishaps. Oh yeah. We discussed permaculture too.

I just got two new books. Gaviotas by Alan Weisman and Times Up by Keith Farnish. Alan Weisman wrote the World Without Us. He is a neighbor of mine. He and his wife (an amazing artist) are really nice people.  His book is such a treasure. He paints such a beautiful picture of this little Eden, it makes me want to pack my bags and emigrate. Not really, of course. It would take dynamite to get me off my own little Eden.